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Re: politeness and quizzical questions

From:JC <jcolrich-dreams@...>
Date:Tuesday, January 18, 2005, 13:50
Sorry... I didn't set reply-to...

--- Henrik Theiling <theiling@...> wrote:

> Hi! > > JC <jcolrich-dreams@...> writes: > > For example, on a descending scale of "likely to > > trigger a defensive response": > > > > 1. Why the <bleep> are you doing it that way? > > 2. Why are you doing it that way? > > 3. Out of curiosity, why are you doing it that way? > > > > I wanted to write #1, first wrote #2, and changed it > > to #3. Speaking, I could say #2 with a quizzical tone > > and look and it would equal #3. > > > > Then, it being a rather dull Monday at work, I started > > thinking about conlangs... > > Hihi. :-) > > > How do you do it? Mine doesn't have anything in > > particular yet, but... Maybe a quizzical mood? > >... > > Nice thoughts! My conlang Qthen|gai has a set of degree markers that > can add a scaling to almost anything in the language. For it to > work, > the scale must have an end on one side, which will be identified with > degree 0% and either a totally subjective and unpredictable other > end, > or no other end. That end of the scale will nevertheless be assigned > 100% (this is technically rubbish, but it fits humans thoughts, I > think). > > For scale like polite ... rude, this does not work, since it has two > equal ends. Such a scale could be split into two parts where 0% > polite = 0% rude, i.e., neutral.
That's neat. Including a neutral state as a valid opposing end lets you could use it for quite a range of things. Though I might argue that polite and rude are just as subjective and unpredictable as a neutral state. Can you use it for most descriptive adjectives (or adverbs), or just a defined set of things?
> Then you could use an adjunct to modify your question: > > <rude> + <degree 0%> > > This would indicate that you do not at all intend to be rude. Just > in > case anyone would be inclined to think so. (Unless, of course, you > use this ironically. :-))
"Not to be rude, but..." :-)
> For a full sentence you would need to add 'ask' and then translate > 'Let me ask with 0% rudeness, whether ...'. I have not implemented > this, but in Qthen|gai it is likely to be like: > > <case:genitive> + <rude> + <degree %0> > <evidence:definition> + > <valence:agent_unmentioned,patient_to_follow> + <ask> > <evidence:interrogative>... > > Note that this indicates two additional words in front of the main > question (one of each line). But in fact, the first one can be > incorporated into the second by applying some valence-changing > operations. Then you'd just add one word (a long one) at the > beginning of the question: > > <evidence:definition> + <valence:agent_to_follow,patient_in_word> > + <ask> + <passive_voice> + <applicative_for_genitive_case> > + <rude> + <degree %0>
I think I see, though I'm a bit confused by the explanation.
> The structure of this is *very* hard (I think it's impossible) to > make > clear in an English sentence. However, it *means* something like: > 'Hereby it is being asked 0% rudely: ...' > > **Henrik > > PS: Like other conlangs, I've planned already to include personal > inclination markers to denote how convinced you are of your own > utterance. These probably work very similarly to the above.
I've seen that in a few places. It seems like it would fit very nicely into your degree structure. I like it... very flexible too. JC